By: Blonde Two

I like walking, Mr B2 likes cycling. He likes it so much that he did it for a very, very long time last weekend. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

Q: So Mr B2, tell us what you got up to last weekend.
A: I had a dirty weekend in Wales without you.

Q: Anything I need to worry about?
A: Well I am a bit numb!

Q:  Maybe you should give us a bit more detail about your cycling event.
A:  I took part in the Bear Bones 200 mountain bike time-trial

Q: That sounds like a challenge, can you tell us more?

A:  It was certainly very challenging.  It was a 219 km set route with lots of hills.  The idea is to complete it as quickly as you can.  You have to be completely self supported and have no outside assistance.  Only 80 riders entered.

Q:  219 k is a long way. Did you take camping gear?
A:  I took a sleeping bag, a bivvy bag and a self-inflating mat in case I needed to stop and sleep. But in the end I rode through the night.

Q:  Did you bump into anything scary in the middle of the night?
A:  Yep, I walked over a dead sheep and believe me, in the middle of the night, that is scary.

Q: How did you see where you were going?
A: I used two very bright LED lights. One mounted on my handlebars, and one on my helmet. The handlebar mounted light throws a wide beam to keep a general illumination in front, whilst the helmet torch gives a more focused beam wherever I am looking.

Q:  Are you an expert navigator like your wife?
A:  I do know how to use a map and compass (obviously my wife taught me everything I know) but for speed, my main navigation aid was a Garmin Dakota 10 GPS unit which I mounted on my handle bars.

Q:  How long did it take you to cycle the 219km?
A:  It took me 32 hours and 48 minutes.

Q:  That is a ridiculously long time to be on a bike. What sort of terrain did you have to cross?
A:  Rivers, bogs, chest high heather and tussocks. I had to push or carry my bike for about half of the time.

Q:  You took lots of emergency rations. Which ones do you think you would take again?
A:  I am never doing that again but if I did … cashews, pork pies and cheese and onion slices. I get sick of sweet calories so savoury stuff worked well for me.

Q:  You weren’t going to take your stove. Was your wife right to insist that you did?
A:  No! Okay, Yes! I did use it to heat up some curry and have a hot drink. In the small hours of the morning, when I was feeling particularly low, it was really nice to have something hot to eat and drink to lift my spirits. My wife is always right!

Q:  How did you train for the event?
A:  I commute regularly by bike but I increased my commute distances and completed the 95 mile Dartmoor Way (from home it was 120 miles) two weeks before the Bear Bones 200.

Q:  Are you planning to take part in this event again?
A:  At present I am not considering entering it again. However, as the pain and memories fade, I wouldn’t be surprised if I did.

Q:  What would you like to say to the organisers who created such a tough course?
A:  The answer to that question is not suitable for a nice blog like this!

Q:  Have you voted for your wife’s blog in the TGO Outdoor Awards?
A:  Yes, you said I had to!

Q:  Which part of you is numb?
A:  I will leave that up to your imagination!